IICJ Paper Enlightening The Jungle: The German Rules on Advertising Pharmaceuticals Thorsten Witt, Corporate Counsel, Celesio, Germany

The legal rules applying to advertising medicines in Germany resemble a jungle. While a Medical Products Advertising Act (hereafter the Act) has been put in place, which concentrates on rules regarding advertising pharmaceuticals, the Act does not show the entire picture. It is surrounded and complemented by provisions embedded in other sources of law. Moreover, the legal structure of the Act is complex as the distinction between rules on advertising to professional parties and rules on marketing to end consumers is not clear in the face of the structure of the Act. Finally, provisions set out in the Act are of course subject to interpretation by competent courts, including both domestic ones and the European Court of Justice. Recently, courts have increasingly been making decisions which, have a significant impact upon how to construe and apply key rules and legal concepts of the Act. This essay strives to outline the chief categories in the light of pertinent case law, focussing on recent case law and taking both the Act and complementing other sources of law into account – thereby hopefully enlightening “the legal jungle” to some extent.
Thorsten Witt
Thorsten Witt: 1972: Born near Stuttgart (GER) 1992 - 1997: Studied law at universities of Tübingen (GER) and Leiden (NL) 1998: First German state exam and diploma of laws 1998 - 2000: Legal trainee at law firms, courts and government authorities 2000: Second German state exam 2000: Admitted to the Stuttgart bar as a registered German lawyer (Rechtsanwalt) 2000 – to-date: Corporate Counsel in the central legal department of Celesio AG. Responsible for IP matters 2008: Examination as a certified IP lawyer (Fachanwalt für Gewerblichen Rechtsschutz)
Celesio is a leading international company which covers the spectrum of pharmaceutical trade and pharmaceutical-related services. The group is active in 28 countries and employs around 41,500 people in its three divisions Patient and Consumer Solutions, Pharmacy Solutions and Manufacturer Solutions. Over 2,300 of Celesio’s own pharmacies, as part of Patient and Consumer Solutions, serve over 550,000 customers in seven countries every day. In its wholesale activities, which are part of Pharmacy Solutions, around 120 wholesale branches deliver to over 35,000 pharmacies in twelve European countries – day in, day out. In the Manufacturer Solutions division, Celesio offers pharmaceutical manufacturers logistics and distribution solutions and supports them in sales and marketing.
Germany More
Area of Law
Advertising More
Business Sector
Pharmaceutical More
Month Published
August 2009 More
Vol. 2, No. 8, Summer 2009 More
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